Measures to be taken regarding victims of domestic violence
to provide victims of domestic violence with free legal advice and assistance before taking legal action;
to help victims of domestic violence by opening residential centres where women can receive psychological support and by giving financial support to welfare associations and emergency services;
to ensure effective protection for victims of violence after the incident and during the whole legal procedure;
to give special financial support to non-governmental organisations as well as to women’s associations working with victims of domestic violence;
to adopt or reinforce social protection measures so that injuries caused to women and children by violent acts are provided for under social protection schemes;
to promote the training of professionals working with young people, as well as health personnel, to identify children and adolescents growing up in violent homes and to take the necessary measures to assist them;
to ensure the training of medical personnel to enable them to identify victims of violence;
to grant immigrant women who have been or who are victims of domestic violence an independent right of residence.
Measures to be taken regarding the prevention of domestic violence
to improve statistics on domestic violence, and with this in mind to develop a clear picture of its nature and prevalence, to permit the identification of resources earmarked for this problem and the evaluation of initiatives to tackle it;
to develop a partnership between the authorities responsible for the protection of women‘s rights and regional and local authorities in order to increase the number of rehabilitation centres and shelters for women victims of domestic violence;
to promote continuing co-operation and understanding between the police, government departments and non-governmental organisations in the fight against the problems and dangers associated with domestic violence;
to develop action plans in co-operation with women’s non-governmental organisations in order to create a general climate where domestic violence is rejected;
to launch, through the media, national awareness campaigns against domestic violence;
to organise adequate training for people who deal with victims of domestic violence: health care staff, police and social workers;
to start education on gender equality and non-violent behaviour at a very early stage and to ensure adequate training for teachers on the issue of domestic violence and gender equality;
to encourage citizens, through educational programmes, to accept their responsibilities, and take positive steps to reduce and prevent domestic violence in society;
to increase state funding to support the social services dealing with the problem of domestic violence;
to encourage the media to cover in a regular, objective and non-biased manner the problem of domestic violence; the mass media should also try to educate the public about the causes and consequences of this kind of violence;
to encourage women to learn self-defence techniques;
to elaborate training programmes specifically for the perpetrators of acts of violence against women;
to develop special information programmes for men with the aim of preventing acts of domestic violence.
Legal measures to be taken
national legislation should prohibit all forms of domestic violence and introduce effective legal provisions, including the immediate removal of the violent partner from the common household and the environment of the woman and her children, without prior evidence of violence, and on the first complaint without waiting for the court order;
the concept of domestic violence should be defined in national legislation in such a way that it is treated as a serious criminal offence, whatever its form;
in view of the legal and institutional reform aimed at establishing more effective systems for protecting women against domestic violence, a review of existing national laws and comprehensive research are necessary;
conjugal rape should be made a criminal offence;
access to justice and the different procedures should be more flexible: hearings should preferably be held in private, there should be a reduced burden of proof, and so on;
the police and law enforcement agencies should be granted the authority to carry out investigations and obtain evidence, and to lodge complaints on behalf of victims of domestic violence.
8. The Assembly invites the Committee of Ministers to launch a European year against domestic violence, which would highlight this problem at European level and encourage European governments to undertake concrete action to combat domestic violence.